Tag: poetry

A review of Anamnesis by Denise O’Hagan

O’Hagan manages a delicate balance between immediacy and nostalgia with a light hand that feels natural, inviting the reader into the moment to share in the meaning making. There are layers of desire pervading the work, time and space condensing, folding into itself in sudden revelations that come into a quiet scene with the force of empathy

A review of Diaspora3 by Andrew Geoffrey Kwabena Moss

Moss’ words are eloquent and have a deep ring of truth.  I love how he utilises sophisticated words mixed with slang. Several of the poems engage with the suffering of First Nations people including the welfare abuse of children who were taken away from their families. Moss pulls no punches, and his words are hard-hitting and powerful.

A review of A Random Caller – Cancer Poetry by Heather Cameron

Cameron is very creative and is able to reveal a lot in the different ways she writes and sets the poems. For example in one poem she utilises pieces of dialogues which are obviously spoken at the time of the diagnosis. In this section there is also a very poignant poem titled “A Letter to my Body”. We sometimes see our body as a different entity and we question ‘it’,or get angry with ‘it’ thinking or saying “how can you do this to me?”.

Exhortation: A Review of Live in Suspense by David Groff

The title, Live in Suspense, is an exhortation, a demand that we live in suspense as he attempts to do. He explores suspense as an artefact, quoting Emily Dickinson and Oscar Wilde, Dickinson emphasizing the unending nature of suspense and the contrast of “annihilation” and “immortality,” Wilde calling suspense “terrible,” then saying, “I hope it will last.”  

Singing From the Jugular: Review of The Book of Redacted Paintings by Arthur Kayzakian

The collection gives us a cohesive, quiet voice of a narrator who seems at times to not necessarily want to talk to us. We’re faced with an internal negotiation, and perhaps finally reconciliation, with one’s own version of truth. The loops of memory – there is repetition in many of the poems – tease us with the fact that history is only ever a partial account of events.

A review of The Shadow Box by Jean Kent

The poetry is often epigraphed by a snippet from a letter, either from George to Jean or Jean to George, charged by its setting as the characters move from Australia through Gallipoli, Egypt, Paris, and Palestine. The result is a tender ekphrastic that utilises these artefacts: a wedding dress, a hat, diary entries, letters, or a pressed flower to bring the past into the present, connecting the generations.

A review of Breakfast in Fur by Jessica Murray

This isn’t a book that makes decisions for the reader. Murray’s knowledge and reference to other forms of art, schools, and theories is broad enough that the reader can find their own stolen moments of either appreciation or critique. But there are consequences for not having an “intermediary structure” (Murray 51) as simple as a porch that potentially shelters a wild cat.

A review of Called To Coddiwomple by Colleen Moyne

The narrative pieces are well defined and give an insight into human nature, which express an attitude towards life, a way of being in the world. Reading Called to Coddiwomple is an immersive experience which impacts on perception and empathy. The reader feels embraced by the author’s experiences, intimate as well as excited by the new life she embarks on.

A review of Already Long Ago by David Giannini

David Giannini is a wonderful teacher. This is a partial list of the words he taught me: Tardis [sic] (acronym for Time and Relative Dimension in Space), withes (branches of an osier used for tying), gnomon (part of a sundial that casts a shadow), dittany (a bushy shrub), skift (something that is light), sposhy (slushy, dirty, and wet), rivulose (having irregular lines), garth (small yard or enclosure), tohubohu (a state of chaos; utter confusion), and my favorite, mondegreen (a mishearing or misinterpretation of a phrase in a way that gives it a new meaning.)

A review of Borrowed Words: Cut-up Poems by Peter Wortsman

This poet’s cut-up poems, generated mostly during the lockdown phase of the pandemic, when he felt “cut-off [like a] … modern day monk languishing in the solitude of my cell…” find their roots in Dada poet Tristan Tzara’s méthode découpé, and shares scissors with William S. Burroughs’ cut-up method by which the gunman-junkie-novelist made new poems from old material. Wortsman’s approach differs though from his forbears.